Okay, so you might see webinars as a way of ‘spreading your brand message’ but failing to create a buying interest means you’re doing something wrong in your webinar process. 

In this article, we’ve put together a list of the DO’S and DON’TS so you can make sure every webinar produces results!


Do your planning

Fail to plan, plan to fail! You need to do some thoughtful planning to make sure you’ve covered all of the bases. Think about these things:

  • Who precisely wants to buy your solutions and the methods, channels and what communications you will use to reach them?
  • What type of subject-matter and content will motivate someone to want to invest 45-mins–and what they need to do to register?
  • How are you going to ’listen’ to your online audience and persuade them to act?
  • How will you seed the next best action in your webinar to make it easy to pick up the conversation later?

Do work hard to get the right ‘bums on seats’

You will need to give yourself a good lead-up to the event so you have time to encourage and invite people in your target audience to attend. I always recommend a 6-week lead-time if you can, not that it’s always possible. To generate leads its essential that you get your audience targeting right. You don’t just want any old bums, you want the right bums!!

Do rehearse!

It’s crazy to jump into a webinar without testing everything first and making sure your team is familiar and comfortable with the technology you’re going to be using. So many things can go wrong that are easily avoided with a simple dress-rehearsal. Examples include problems with bookings, presenters not knowing how to switch over presentations etc.

Do use polls and surveys properly (and take them seriously)

Polls and surveys are an important feature if you want to generate leads. Done well, you should be able to embrace polls and surveys in your webinar programs to gather rich insights and profiling on your attendees.  From the right blend of questions in polls and surveys you should be able to ascertain:

  • Are they a prospect?
  • What is their interest/problem?
  • What aspects of ‘the problem’ are creating the biggest undesirables?
  • Where are they in their buying journey? What’s their timeline?
  • Are they a decision-maker or influencer?

Consider—If you knew all of those insights from a face-to-face meeting, wouldn’t you be pretty happy?

Also consider—If you’re already running webinars, just how well are you doing this today?

Do more than one webinar

Often, participants might not be able to make one time but they can another. Or they find the topic you’re leading with isn’t as interesting as one of the others you COULD run with. Run more than one webinar in a short series and you can pick up the stragglers from one webinar promotion on to the next.

It never hurts to grow your social audience by promoting ‘interesting events.’ It costs almost as much money to run one webinar as three, so why sell yourself short?

That said, don’t get carried away by working on your entire webinar program right away. Focus on getting the first one right and the follow-on webinars will run like clockwork!


Don’t forget, you want to generate SALES LEADS

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of focusing effort and resources on webinars that DON’T produce sales leads. The nuances in getting it right are in the small things like targeting, the right use of engagement questions, effective call-to-action mechanisms, effective planning of ‘next steps’ and mapping out your journey.

Don’t fall short on promotion – so too few people turn up

If you don’t put enough effort into getting the right people to attend, then it’s all for nothing. Sometimes, it’s sensible to get outside help to produce all of the well-written content, great ads and videos that will draw attention to your event.

Don’t stop at ‘thanks for attending’’

It frustrates me that some businesses do a great job of their marketing, content, speaker line-up etc. only to fall at the last fence because they haven’t planned the next step from the webinar. DON’T JUST SAY THANKS AND GOODBYE–HAVE A PLAN!

Don’t settle for weak ‘giveaways’

Formula One teams always have a ‘gram strategy’ to minimize the weight of their cars and drivers to maximize performance. The smallest weight added in Formula One can make the difference between first and second place. In you case, part of your gram strategy should be to make sure you’re offering great give-aways that motivate your audience to want to learn more about how you can help them. Don’t go cheap on poor materials. It’s worth spending time and money on good give-aways because they can really make a difference in converting interest into opportunities.

Don’t sell yourself short with poor quality presenters and content

Ultimately, you must get the fundamentals right! Your speakers need to be articulate, to the point, well rehearsed. Your content needs to be on-point and easy to follow. Like any presentation, a webinar is a blend of information+personality and you must have both working for you.

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Final thoughts

When Newton Day run webinar programs, we see a typical doubling of growth in attendee numbers from the first to the third event; something like 35, 70, 140 etc. would be quite common. To get this level of growth you need to have your entire sales and marketing team focused on the task. And you need to run good webinars that are well planned!

But YOU CAN GENERATE HUGE SALES LEAD PIPELINES from webinars if you run them well. The biggest difference you can make to your webinars to turn them into lead generators are these things:

  • Targeting the right audience
  • Seducing them to attend with good content and stories
  • Running a good webinar
  • Getting the audience engagement right
  • Planning out your next step REALLY WELL
  • Delivering give-aways that are valuable to your audience

Ian Tomlin Pic

Ian Tomlin

CEO Newton Day

Ian Tomlin is a business management consultant, having led a career as a CEO, marketer, tech innovator, and business writer. He founded and is CEO of the marketing and innovation company Newton Day where he helps businesses tell their product stories and make conversation with their customers. His writing includes fourteen titles including the 60-Minute Expert series of ultimate ‘how-to’ guides for practitioners. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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